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Transportation representative Don Grantham touts benefits of transportation tax up for vote

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Collections from a special 1 percent transportation tax that goes before voters July 31 could make up for budget shortfalls stalling road improvement projects, according to a state transportation representative.

Don Grantham, Georgia Department of Transportation District 10 representative, said the Augusta area needs to pass the transportation referendum if it expects much needed improvements. Grantham spoke on the tax vote at the monthly meeting of Pride and Progress of Augusta-Richmond County Tuesday night.

“We’re going to need to pass this to maintain our roads,” he said, adding that adequate transportation infrastructure will drive economic growth.

The tax referendum was created by the Transportation Investment Act of 2010. The state was divided into 12 regions where regional roundtables developed a list of projects. If passed, the tax will be in place for 10 years.

Grantham said the GDOT budget has been cut $375 million in two years. The shortfall has resulted in more local projects being denied state funding.

Of GDOT’s budget, about 97 percent comes from the state’s fuel tax. Fuel tax money is often not returned to all areas of the state, he said.

“We don’t want our money to go to Atlanta. We want our money to stay right here,” he said. “I call it the people’s bill. You get to collect it and you get to know how it’s spent.”

The 13-county Augusta region is projected to collect $841 million. Richmond, Columbia and McDuffie counties will be the largest contributors. Richmond County is expected to bring in $277.5 million.

Rural counties in the region have far fewer and less expensive projects on the list, but Grantham said those projects will never be accomplished without the special tax.

“Is that fair? We’re donating so these counties can get something in their area. Yes that’s fair,” he said. “They all come to Augusta to shop and spend their money.”

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omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 06/26/12 - 10:17 pm
7
1
if the DOT kept better track

if the DOT kept better track of their funds maybe they would not have been cut. NO T-SPLOST ON MY BALLOT.

Grantham is totally misdirecting when he says he doesn't want money going to Atlanta. Gas tax money is not affected by this bill. Check the numbers closely and you'll find discrepancies in "Dandy Don's" reasoning.

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 06/26/12 - 10:19 pm
4
1
"adequate transportation

"adequate transportation infrastructure will drive economic growth"

!!!!!!!!! what does that even mean!?
you mean we can make do with what we have? No unnecessary capital expenditures or paying companies to locate to Augusta?! as Gomer Pyle used to say GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLY

dichotomy
32757
Points
dichotomy 06/26/12 - 10:28 pm
8
0
No TSPLOST

"Of GDOT’s budget, about 97 percent comes from the state’s fuel tax. Fuel tax money is often not returned to all areas of the state, he said."

And that is exactly what I have been saying. The problem is that we are being robbed of the dedicated taxes we already pay for our road system. We don't need a new tax. We need the tax money that we already pay but they steal and spend in metro Atlanta. Vote NO on TSPLOST and then DEMAND that our illustrious "legislative delegation" do their part to bring OUR gasoline tax money back to OUR road maintenance projects. They want you to pay for metro Atlanta's roads and then create a new tax to pay TWICE for your road projects. Let them know that you want the state gasoline tax money redistributed proportionately and IF Atlanta needs more money for roads they are welcome to have their own TSPLOST.

Send them a LOUD message in July. NO MORE PHONY TAXES. NO MORE SPLOSTs. Vote NO on TSPLOST.

dichotomy
32757
Points
dichotomy 06/26/12 - 10:48 pm
5
0
Making RC taxpayers pay

Making RC taxpayers pay twice, or double, for everything seems to have become a familiar theme lately. They want us to pay twice for our road projects so metro Atlanta can steal all of the gasoline tax money and old Mark Johnson wants us to pay twice, or double, for our garbage service so he can build his methane gas empire. Has anyone checked to see if Johnson owns stock in a CNG garbage truck manufacturer? I don't know whose benefit Mark Johnson is working for but it certainly isn't the RC property owners who he is robbing. And I don't know whose benefit Don Grantham is working for but it certainly is not the RC residents who will be paying another $300 on an automobile or $10 or $20 on an appliance. You had better wake up people. These politicians and bureaucrats are out to crucify you with taxes and fees if you don't start beating them down.

dichotomy
32757
Points
dichotomy 06/26/12 - 10:51 pm
5
0
Whose growth?

"adequate transportation infrastructure will drive economic growth."

Whose growt?. Not our growth. We are the poor smucks that be paying the bill. Somebody might grow but our disposable income will SHRINK. No more taxes. Vote NO on TSPLOST.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 06/26/12 - 10:52 pm
5
0
So let me get this

So let me get this straight....

Grantham is saying that currently our tax money is going to Atlanta.

What is his solution?

Go to Atlanta and fight for our share of what we paid? Nope.

His solution is to make us pay more. His solution is for us to fund Atlanta's roads and our roads.

That makes sense.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 06/26/12 - 10:54 pm
5
0
One question for

One question for Grantham.

How much money will a certain attorney make from selling bonds for this SPLOST?

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 06/27/12 - 02:51 am
5
0
Insider Information

II,

You're not supposed to know about attorney's fees and other attorney's income arising from bond issues. And you're certainly not supposed to broadcast same upon the Internet.

I do hope that you'll excuse my following expropriation of the gist of the poignant question ending your 10:54 PM post:

How much has a certain attorney made from selling bonds for the last (and every other RCBOE school bond issue for the last forty years)E-SPLOST?

Riverman1
83606
Points
Riverman1 06/27/12 - 04:46 am
7
0
Don Grantham never met a tax dollar he didn't like

Don Grantham never met a tax dollar he didn't like. I'm sure his hand is in the pie somehow.

What is so hard for politicians to understand? The economy is down and people are not making as much. They are cutting spending in their personal lives. It's time for government to do the same at all levels instead of trying to figure out ways to keep spending.

nocnoc
42466
Points
nocnoc 02/20/13 - 01:43 pm
5
0
SPLOST - A ONCE GOOD IDEA ABUSED AND OVER USED.

Just a politicians crutch for poor planning and wasteful spending.

Little Lamb
45863
Points
Little Lamb 06/27/12 - 07:40 am
6
0
Illogic

The logic behind Don Grantham's statements brings to mind the theater of the absurd. Here is what he says:

Tax collections are down, government spending is down, so we must raise taxes to get government spending up again.

Sorry, Dandy Don, but hurting the finances of everyone who spends money in the grocery stores, on electric power bills, gas bills, gasoline, telephone service, clothing, etc. is not going to "drive economic growth" for us.

Vote NO! during early voting or on July 31.

Little Lamb
45863
Points
Little Lamb 06/27/12 - 07:43 am
4
0
Audience Comments

I find it interesting in Meg Mirshak’s story that there is not one comment, not one rebuttal from anyone who might have been in attendance at the meeting. In fact, she does not even tell us about how many people might have attended. Did Dandy Don talk so long that the attendees grew weary and just sat there in silence?

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 06/27/12 - 08:07 am
4
0
Little Lamb,

Maybe Dandy Don and "Double" fast-talked all the oxygen out of the air.

Little Lamb
45863
Points
Little Lamb 06/27/12 - 08:39 am
5
0
Augusta Public Transportation

All you folks in Columbia County, Washington County, McDuffie County, Lincoln County, Jefferson County, Jenkins County, Screven County, etc. — don't forget that a big chunk of the regional sales tax money collected is slated to go the the Augusta Public Transit system to subsidize their operation. Do you really want your money to go for that?

avidreader
3189
Points
avidreader 06/27/12 - 11:36 am
3
0
I Vote NO!

No more taxes! No more trusting government officials without 100% transparency (and this will never happen).

Over the years, I have seen many road projects in progress and I wondered, "Why?" Ten years later, I take another look and say, "Oh, now I get it." Responsible people were thinking ten-years ahead. Good job! However, Berckman Road is suitable now, and it will be suitable in ten years. There are many bridges in District 10 that need substantial work. Once a tax is approved by voters, the tax is here to stay.

I'm sorry Mr. Grantham, nothing personal, but I just do not trust the "system" to look after our community's best interests. Let's fill some potholes and patch some bridges and wait for our cash-strapped economy to improve.

Carleton Duvall
6305
Points
Carleton Duvall 06/27/12 - 12:36 pm
2
0
For what its worth

count on me for a no.

Sweet son
10340
Points
Sweet son 06/27/12 - 03:05 pm
2
0
Well Mr. Grantham!!

I believe you have the answer to your proposal here!!! Not one comment was in your favor and I hope the public at large feels the same way. All of us are going to vote no on your tax! It will just generate a lot of revenue for local governments to steal and fix general budgets. We have all had to trim our househole budgets in these times so you and the govt bureuacrats need to trim yours! No!!!!!!!!!!!

Riverman1
83606
Points
Riverman1 06/27/12 - 03:41 pm
2
0
LL, Grantham's statements

LL, Grantham's statements remind me of your San Francisco article about issuing more tickets instead of cutting costs and downsizing the parking thing.

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